Located in the western part of Romania, Timişoara (Hungarian: Temesvár, German: Temeschburg) is the administrative seat of Temes County, as well as its cultural and economic centre.
A settlement since Neolithic times, occupied at various times by Romans, Hungarians, Turks and Austrians, Timişoara served for centuries as an example of how the Hungarian, Romanian, Serbian and German cultures could live together in peace.
The city’s layout – with a city-centre consisting of large squares and regularly laid out boulevards, bordered by wide ring-roads – was determined at the turn of the 20th century.
The city’s most imposing feature is the vast square in the centre of the city, which was renamed Victory/Liberty Square following the successful 1989 revolution against Ceausescu’s dictatorial regime. The Square is dominated at one end by the Orthodox Cathedral and at the other end by the Opera-house – the Secessionist style buildings in-between them recall the Monarchic period at the turn of the 19th-20th centuries.
The ambience of Cathedral Square derives from its Baroque style buildings – the imposing Cathedral of the Csanád Bishopric (built between 1736 and 1773), the Serbian Orthodox Cathedral (dating from 1734), and the Savoy Mansion, built in 1719 to honour the liberation of the city in 1716 from Turkish rule by Prince Eugene of Savoy.
The Hunyadi Castle is the only building in Timişoara which incorporate medieval remnants. The original castle – built in 1318 and modified in 1443 – was substantially destroyed during the siege of 1849. It owes its present form to the 1856 reconstruction. It houses several museums with extensive historic, scientific and fine arts collections.
Some remnants of the medieval city-wall can still be seen in Timişoara.